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Asher Whitaker becomes youngest Kansas Am winner in 97 years
Asher Whitaker (Kansas.com photo)
Asher Whitaker (Kansas.com photo)

Asher Whitaker, a junior-to-be at Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School in Wichita, Kan., became the youngest winner in nearly a century of the Kansas Amateur Championship when the 17-year-old defeated Alex Downing, 2 and 1, in the title match at Sand Creek Station Golf Club in Newton.

At age 17, Whitaker’s accomplishment had not been seen in the Kansas Am in nearly a century, as the youngest winner in the event’s 112-year history was Fred Salmons, who won the 1925 title at Wichita Country Club as a 16-year-old.

The championship match was a back-and-forth affair between Whitaker, a high school junior and Downing, a 2006 graduate from Buena Vista, an NCAA Division III school in Storm Lake, Iowa.

The match was even at lunch but it was Downing who found himself with a 2-up lead after 28 holes. Whitaker then made his move, winning the 29th and 30th holes with birdies. After Downing made a double bogey on the 32nd hole and a bogey on the 34th, Whitaker enjoyed a two-hole advantage with two holes remaining.

The Wichita, Kan. native closed out the match with a par on the par-3, 17th hole.

According to Kansas.com, it marks the second straight year a Wichita native won the Kansas Am title, following Cooper Schultz's victory last year at Crestview Country Club in Wichita.

Results: Kansas Amateur
WinKSAsher WhitakerWichita, KS200
Runner-upMOAlex DowningLees Summit, MO100
SemifinalsKSGentry ScheveEmporia, KS50
SemifinalsKSCooper SchultzWichita, KS50
MedalistKSCooper SchultzWichita, KS25

View full results for Kansas Amateur

ABOUT THE Kansas Amateur

36 holes of individual stroke play qualifying to determine low 64 players advancing to single elimination match play bracket. Any player that is not exempt from regional qualifying must go through one of the five regional qualifying sites or the second chance qualifier to advance to the championship. Open to any male amateur golfer with an active USGA/GHIN Handicap Index through a KGA member club.

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